Holiday Cards + Letting Things Go

I absolutely love the holiday season.  The lights on the trees... the chill in the air... the traditions... the peppermint hot cocoa... you with me?  I even enjoy most of the little nagging holiday to do's, but this year I'm nine months pregnant and energy is in short supply.  So, in the interest of keeping things stress free and simple I'm allowing myself a few shortcuts.  

The first thing I'm letting go of is designing my own holiday cards.  You guys know how much I love to design, but I spend way too many hours agonizing over the details.  So instead I've opted to order our cards from Minted this year.  Their founder spoke at Alt SF this summer and I really admire their business model.  They source selections from independent designers worldwide, and I love that you can add extras like rounded corners and kraft envelopes (check + check) to personalize everything.  I had trouble narrowing down my options, but the card below was my second choice.  That's Caitlin with her 'best friend' Andy the giraffe.  I decided not to share our official card with you yet since I haven't sent it out family and friends, but it might possibly be even cuter than this... I'll share it on instagram after they've hit the mail.
Oh, and another thing I'm taking off my to do list (possibly forever)... fighting crowds at the mall.  Sorry Black Friday. My goal is to do as much of my shopping online as possible, which is a new thing for me, but working out great so far.  I still prefer to have the gifts shipped to our house so I can wrap them myself... because honestly I think that's my favorite part of gifting.  When I was shopping for the Minted cards I discovered they now have a gift wrap section too, complete with custom wrapping paper and some of the most beautiful ribbon that you ever did see.  Why hello, gold glitter and red velvet!  I think some of these beauties need to be paired up with my geometric gift tags, wouldn't you agree?
I'm not sure if I'll be back here again before Christmas or the baby arrives, so if not I wish you all a safe, happy and party filled holiday season.  I'll be back as soon as I can to keep you posted with the big news.  Merry happy everything!

This post was sponsored in part by Minted, but my good opinion of their products is all my own. 

Free Printable | Geometric Holiday Gift Tags


Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner?  For me the season holds extra significance this year because we're expecting baby #2 just after New Years. I honestly feel like I should be due any day, but I'm trying to be patient and enjoy these final months as the mom of an only child... I've heard that the transition from 1 to 2 kids can be quite the adjustment! 

With everything else we have going on I'm keeping the holidays simple, so I was excited to team up again with The Tomkat Studio to plan ahead and design these festive geometric gift tags.  I'm in love with gold and emerald right now, so I'll definitely be using them for our family gifts- paired with kraft wrapping paper and red baking twine.  These printables are being featured along with many other designs, recipes and easy holiday ideas in Tomkat's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.  I sure hope you'll check it out and enjoy all the fabulous inspiration.  Here's to another happy holiday season!

These tags will look their best printed on white letter-sized card stock.  Just download, print, cut and enjoy.

To see last year's confetti themed gift tags, click here.

Gift tags and images are ©Merry Happy by CAKE. and are for personal use only. Please do not re-distribute. If sharing them on your site, credit CAKE. | events + design and link directly to this post.

Confetti Birthday Party | Favors


I hope you've enjoyed all the "3 Cheers for Caitlin" party details this week!  Did I mention how much fun it was to put together?  These favor bags were meant for the kids, but there were a few items that went over pretty well with the grownups too.  I'll leave it to you to guess which.  I filled kraft paper treat bags with playdoh, bouncy balls, mardi gras beads, bubbles, poppers and a 'party animal' blower... and of course, I threw in some extra confetti for a surprise (ie: mess) at home.  I labeled them with phrases like "woo-hoo", "hip hip hooray", "party on"and "3 cheers for fun".  Done and done!

photos © sherry heck

Well that about wraps it up. A great big thank you to everyone who contributed and a special shout out to my friends at Shop Sweet Lulu for being the source for all things party pretty!

But wait, there's more... have you seen the rest of this party yet?  Click here: Invitation + Decorations \\ Food + Drinks \\ Activities 

Photography: Sherry Heck
Styling, Invite + Graphics: Merry Happy by CAKE.
Cake + Cupcakes: Cakewalk Baking
Favor Bags, Animal Blowers: Shop Sweet Lulu
Paper Confetti, Balls, Bubbles, Beads, Poppers: Party City

These images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.

Confetti Birthday Party | Toddler Activities

My husband and I had so much fun thinking up activities for Caitlin's "3 Cheers" confetti party.  We didn't want anything too structured, but decided instead to have a few stations set up to keep the kids entertained.

The start of the show had to be the 'Confetti Your Cupcakes' area.  Undecorated vanilla cupcakes were set up at a kid sized table with 8 kinds of sprinkes in shakers and little bowls.  I was mildly worried about toddlers knocking the cake plates over and making a giant mess, but they were surprisingly well behaved.  Their parents were there to help of course, but I think the kids treated the sprinkles with a kind of reverence because they were just so pretty.  One of Caitlin's friends actually camped out at the table and would decorate her cupcake, lick off the sprinkles and then re-decorate it. Girl after my own heart.

The party hat station was a pretty big hit too. I bought a bunch of 1" colorful circle labels from Paper Source, so all the kids had to do was peel off the dots and apply them to their hats. Little kids are obsessed with stickers and mostly just like to peel them, so some of them may or may not have ended up on clothing, skin and other party decorations... don't say I didn't warn you.

The Confetti Art station didn't get very much use, which I was bummed about because it was my absolute favorite idea.  I was inspired by this art installation to have the kids fill in giant posters with colorful stickers (same ones used for the party hats).  I thought I might even frame them if they turned out well.  I did one in a C and one with a 3... I'm going assume you understand why, but my husband was quick to point out that all the dads would think I was making a Star Wars reference.  Men are nerds.  The kids didn't spend too much time with it (though to be fair, I neglected to mention there was also a bounce house...), so I recommend if you want to try something like this that you make it a competition to see who can finish first.

A special thank you goes out to Sherry Heck for spending the day on her pregnant feet so she could capture the details on camera. All images of Caitlin and her party guests are my own.

But wait, there's more... have you seen the rest of this party yet?  Click here: Invitation + Decorations \\ Food + Drinks \\  Favors

Photography: Sherry Heck
Styling, Posters & Graphics:  CAKE. | events + design
Cake & Cupcakes: Cakewalk Baking
Label Stickers: Paper source
Cupcake Liners & Sprinkles: Michaels

These images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.

Confetti Birthday Party | Sprinkled Treats

Who doesn't love a sprinkled party treat?  Wait, let's make that 5 kinds of sprinkled party treats!  Today I'm sharing the eats & drinks from Caitlin's "3 Cheers" confetti birthday... and stay tuned for more details throughout the week.

Let's talk about this beautiful cake, shall we?  Michele of Cakewalk Baking created both the cake and cupcakes.  The inside was Funfetti vanilla and the cake was frosted with the most delicious fresh strawberry buttercream.  We topped it off with a variety of sprinkles and these awesome gold metallic birthday candles.

My favorite, though messy, creation was definitely the doughnut pops. I picked up 2 dozen glazed holes from our local donut shop and attached them to lollipop sticks wrapped in washi tape.  I just brushed on a little extra glaze and half dipped them in rainbow sprinkles for that happy confetti'ed look.

I took on the cookies from this lofthouse style recipe I'd been dying to try.  They were way more work than I would have guessed... probably because I waited to bake them until the night before and didn't realize the dough is supposed to be refrigerated overnight before rolling.  Friends, don't neglect that step and you'll thank me later.  In the end, the recipe made lots and they tasted far better than their processed grocery store counterparts, so it was worth the effort.

Rounding out the snacks we had a bit of gummy candy along with typical toddler food like circus animal cookies, fruit salad and goldfish crackers.

In addition to juice boxes for the kids and booze for the grownups, I also made my own fruit punch complete with 'fruit confetti'. I basically made up the recipe by pouring a few different juices (apple, white grape, cherry, pineapple) and some sparkling water into our large mason dispenser and filled it up with round slices of lemons, limes and oranges.  (ps: it would taste great mixed as a cocktail too... if you happened not to be entertaining a bunch of three-year-olds)

photos © sherry heck 

But wait, there's more... have you seen the rest of this party yet? Click here: Invitations + Decorations \\ Activities \\ Favors

Photography: Sherry Heck
Styling + Graphics:  CAKE. | events + design
Cake + Cupcakes: Cakewalk Baking
Honeycombs, Party Utensils, Paper Straws: Shop Sweet Lulu

These images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.

Confetti Birthday Party | Invites & Decorations

At last!  This week I'm finally sharing my daughter Caitlin's 3rd birthday confetti party and I'm super excited to unveil all the fun... it's "3 Cheers for Caitlin" you guys!  If you've been following CAKE. for a while, you may be sensing a pattern. Caitlin's first birthday was a "ONE to Grow On" garden party and her second was "TWO at the Zoo".  So honestly, I had the idea for her third long before confetti was back in style... I simply had a vision of a classic party with lots of bright colorful decorations, gold sparkle and handmade details.  Pure fun for toddlers and parents alike.  Today we're taking a peek at the invite and decorations, but be sure to stay tuned throughout the week for all the details...

We held the party in our backyard for about 40 people, and scheduled it at 3pm for 'cake + confetti' to save the hassle of planning out a big lunch.  I designed these invites myself and kept the the look cheerful and kid friendly.  We filled the yard with balloons, tissue balls, streamers and a ridiculous amount of paper confetti.

We had a few giant balloons to play with and the kids had a blast bopping them around.  I loaded the large clear ones with paper confetti before filling them, and tied them off with glittery baking twine and a rainbow of streamers.  They looked pretty great when the wind picked up... like some sort of otherworldly jellyfish.

In a last minute decorating crisis, I made a garland out of the paper confetti to hang behind the dessert table. I'm so glad I did.  It was a great little DiY- done by stringing groups of confetti with a needle and thread and then spreading it out randomly.  I made 3 of them in about an hour and they were such a pretty little touch that I'm saving them for future party emergencies. (Tip: to keep them untangled I wrapped each one around a piece of cardstock as I took them down)

Yes, somehow I even found a confetti skirt for the birthday girl (from Land's End if you're curious, but sadly no longer available).  Paired with her sparkly gold jellies she was a perfect match to the party!

A special thank you goes out to Sherry Heck for spending the day on her pregnant feet so she could capture the details on camera. All images of Caitlin and her party guests are my own.

But wait, there's more... have you seen the rest of this party yet? Click here: Food + Drinks \\ Activities \\ Favors

Photography: Sherry Heck
Styling, Invite + Graphics:  CAKE. | events + design
Cake + Cupcakes: Cakewalk Baking
Honeycombs, Large Clear Balloons: Shop Sweet Lulu
Paper Confetti, Gold 3 Balloon, Streamers: Party City

These images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.

3 Cheers for Caitlin | A Confetti Birthday Party

My daughter Caitlin's 3rd birthday is being featured over on 100 Layer Cakelet today. I hope you're already familiar with their wedding and family blogs.... if not, you're missing out on one of my favorite sources for beautiful events + inspiration.  I'm thrilled to have this party featured in such good company.

Next week I'll be sharing all the details over here, so come on back and read all about it!

photo © cake. | events + design

Images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.

A 'Little' News...

So friends, I've been a bit preoccupied lately. Maybe it's because of this...

photo © cake. | events + design

Yep. We're having a baby boy... coming this January! And we couldn't be more thrilled. Actually, I'm not sure about all of us... Caitlin is still deciding how she feels about having a little brother. This morning she kept telling me 'I think the baby's going to be a girl' and last week it was 'I think we should name the baby throw-up'. Oh toddlers. I think we're in for an interesting adventure.

The only unfortunate side effect of this pregnancy is that I'm pretty much tired all the time. I know things have been inconsistent around here and truthfully I can't see that changing anytime soon, but I'll keep sharing my projects + designs no matter how late they happen to be. Thanks for hanging in there in spite of it all... it always brings me joy to share these snippets of creativity + life with you.

Alt SF.


This Wednesday I'm cutting out of work early and heading up the street to the Fairmont for 24 hours of fabulous- courtesy of Alt SF.  Will I be seeing you there?  If not, you can still follow along on twitter for updates and 'wish you were here' pics.  I'm looking forward to a great time with some of my very favorite peeps!

original photo by stone crandall via alt summit

A Modern Minted Birthday Breakfast

All printable party supplies for this post were provided by the good people of Minted.  Thank you for supporting all of our loveable sponsors.

If you're following along on instagram, you may have read that June is a busy month for celebrating at our house.  Yesterday was Father's Day, next weekend is Caitlin's 3rd birthday party (more to come on that soon), and last weekend we hosted a little breakfast in honor of my mom's birthday. Since things have been so busy around here, I knew I wouldn't be able to design everything myself.  This time I ordered The Porch collection from Minted's new line of party supplies, and you can see how well it brought everything together.  Of course, I can never resist doing a few projects of my own, so keep reading for details and some quick DiYs...

The breakfast menu was delicious, though perhaps not quite nutritious.  We started with mini veggie quiches and greek yogurt with honey + fresh strawberries.  Michele of Cakewalk Baking brought over a yummy lemon cake and muffins with lemon curd + cream cheese frosting.  And then we had a few apothecary jars full of mini donuts... because obviously we didn't have enough sweets already.  To drink (in addition to coffee), I offered grapefruit or apple juice to mix with Prosecco for a unique twist on mimosas.

I topped the cake with a few scalloped stickers and strung them along a length of twine, then grabbed a big rose from our garden to coordinate with the happy birthday banner.

The table runner was easily made by stamping black circles on kraft wrapping paper using a round sponge brush.  Notice how it again ties back to the banner as well as some of the oversized table confetti?

In my favorite project of the day... the hand drawn dotted planter and dessert plate were made with dry erase marker.  Obviously you don't want it to touch your food, but it's such a fun way to add a finishing touch that won't ruin your ceramic dishes. After the party it just wipes away!

I'm always a sucker for a bit of washi tape, so this time I used it to make toppers for the muffins as well as tails for a little prize ribbon that served as the gift tag on my mom's presents...

It was so cute to see my mom wowed by the details that were just for her.  And this one was easy to put together on a tight schedule... aren't breakfast parties the best?

photos + styling © cake. 2013 

Special thanks to Minted + Cakewalk Baking for helping bring this celebration to life.  These images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please credit CAKE. events blog and link directly to this post.